Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Colin, José Luis, 1944-
    Entre la acción colectiva y la búsqueda individual : Jacobo Borges / por José Luis Colin
    El Nacional (México D. F.). -- Sep. 7, 1976
    Journal article – Interviews
    Colin, José Luis. "Entre la acción colectiva y la búsqueda individual: Jacobo Borges." El Nacional (México D. F.), September 7, 1976.
Editorial Categories [?]

The art critic José Luis Colin interviews Jacobo Borges on the occasion of the latter’s exhibition at the Galería Arvil in Mexico City. Colin notes this Venezuelan painter’s fascination with human rituals and gestures, timelessness, and the absurd. He compares Borges’ paintings with works by other Latin American artists (including Oswaldo Guayasamín) who also produce a critical form of art that is both committed and creative. In the interview, Borges explains that, of all the genres he has explored, painting allows him to reflect on the past. He goes on to say that when he paints, he works from two simultaneous perspectives: his reflection on his experience (the past), and the reference point provided by the present. Another contributing factor is the artist’s gesture involved in the act of painting. Borges mentions that his visual art has also been influenced by his other artistic activities, specifically his work in theatrical set design and wardrobe.   


The Mexican art critic and poet José Luis Colin (b. 1944) interviews Jacobo Borges when the latter was in Mexico City for an exhibition of his most recent work at the Galería Arvil. Earlier that same year, Borges had had a retrospective at the Museo de Arte Moderno de México (in Mexico City)—Jacobo Borges: magia de un realismo crítico—that included forty-eight works he produced between 1962 and 1976. Borges’ work was not entirely unknown in Mexico at that time because he had taken part in a number of important group exhibitions there in the 1960s.


In this interview, Borges mentions two significant aspects of his work that had both been referred to by art critics on previous occasions. He discusses his approach to time, and acknowledges how his painting has been influenced by his other creative activities. He describes the former, which critics have called a “temporary superimposition or simultaneity,” as the product of a creative process in which the past—once it has been identified and duly considered—is combined with the spontaneous emotion of the present. Another contributing factor is the artist’s gestural technique, which is not necessarily intuitive; it is something he practices over a long period of time until he can create the effect he is looking for. The second aspect Borges mentions involves his creative activities in fields other than the visual arts, such as the movies and the theater, where he has spent a considerable amount of time throughout the course of his career. His point here is that what he learned in those other fields has enriched and transformed his painting: his treatment of images, for example, and his gestural technique. Borges sees his creative practice as one single enterprise that he works on at various porous levels, so that discoveries in one area make significant contributions in others.  


On the subject of the work of Jacobo Borges, see the article by Donald Kuspit, “Jacobo Borges’s creation of potential space / Jacobo Borges e la creazione dello spazio potenziale” [doc. no. 1060608]; the article by the critic Perán Erminy, “Una exposición de obras de Jacobo Borges” [doc. no. 1060424]; the newspaper review by Elizabeth Pérez Luna, “Jacobo Borges: La pasión de la identidad” [doc. no. 1063714]; the article by the critic Inocente Palacios, “Jacobo Borges” [doc. no. 1060361]; the essay by the historian Berta Taracena, “Jacobo Borges en México” [doc. no. 1063795]; the article by the critic Roberto Guevara, “Sin título. [Un día el poeta sentó la belleza en sus rodillas…]” [doc. no. 1060477]; the interview by Lenelina Delgado, “Somos una ficción” [doc. no. 1063831]; and the one by Armando J. Florez, “El artista debe superar las limitaciones de las ideologías: Jacobo Borges en Nueva York” [doc. no. 1065435].

Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
José Luis Colin, 1976
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.